‘Unbelievable honor’ for Ruths

Troy Ruths of the national champion men’s basketball team has been honored as the 2007-08 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Ruths is the first student-athlete in WUSTL history to receive the honor.

The announcement was made to a national television audience Aug. 12 on ESPNU. Ruths was one of two student-athletes honored nationally and picked up the college division award.

“Winning the Academic All-America of the Year award is a dream come true for me,” said Ruths, who began work this semester on a doctorate in computer science at Rice University. “I’ve always felt college athletics were all about sports competition and academic achievement.”

Honored as the 2008 NCAA Division III National Player of the Year, Ruths led the Bears to a 25-6 record and the national championship March 22. “We are so proud of what Troy has accomplished both on and off the court during his career at Washington University,” said coach Mark Edwards. “Being named the Academic All-America of the Year is an unbelievable honor and one that is well deserved. He is the true student-athlete who left his imprint on everyone he has worked with on campus — coaches, faculty, classmates and teammates.”

As a senior, Ruths started all 31 games and averaged 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game with a .507 field goal percentage. He finished his career ranked second on the Bears’ all-time scoring list (1,801).

The Academic All-America of the Year honor, which began in 1987-88, is chosen from the student-athletes who have been awarded Team Member of the Year honors, which Ruths was awarded in men’s basketball. From more than 360,000 student-athletes in the nation, 816 are selected as Academic All-America Team members, 24 are selected as Team Members of the Year and two are named Academic All-Americans of the Year.

Volleyball ranked No. 2

The defending NCAA Division III champion volleyball team will begin the 2008 season ranked No. 2 in the CBS College Sports Net-work/American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason top 25 poll.

Juniata College was voted No. 1 in the preseason poll despite advancing just to the NCAA quarterfinals last year. The Bears will have a chance to grab back the top ranking Sept. 12 when Juniata visits the WU Field House. In all, the Bears will face eight preseason top 25 teams this season.

WUSTL opens the season at home 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, against Lawrence University.

Top 10 soccer teams

The men’s and women’s soccer teams are ranked in the top 10 of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas preseason top 25 poll.

The men are ranked No. 6 in the country. Coach Joe Clarke’s squad returns eight starters from last year’s team that advanced to the NCAA sectional finals for the first time since 1995.

The women were voted No. 9 in the preseason poll and return 23 letterwinners to a squad that went 17-4 overall, advanced to the NCAA sectionals and captured the fifth University Athletic Association title in school history.

Football season opener now a home game

Due to the unplayable status of the Greenville (Ill.) College football field, the season-opening game has changed venues. The Bears will play Greenville at 1 p.m. Sept. 6 at Francis Field. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to come out and see this unexpected addition to the home schedule.

The following week, WUSTL will play its originally scheduled home opener against Westminster College at 7 p.m. Sept. 13. At halftime, the 2008 national champion men’s tennis team will be recognized.